Barcelona forward Neymar has been given permission to discuss a world record 222m euro (£198m) transfer with Paris St-Germain.
The Brazil international told his team-mates at training on Wednesday that he wanted to leave the Spanish club, and spent 40 minutes at Barcelona’s training ground.
He was then given permission by Barca manager Ernesto Valverde not to train and to “sort out his future”.
A Barca club statement read: “Neymar Jr, accompanied by his father and agent, has informed FC Barcelona this morning of his decision to leave the club in a meeting held at the club’s offices. “Faced with this position, the club has informed them they refer to the buy-out clause of his existing contract which as of 1 July totals 222million euros, which will have to be deposited in its entirety.
“Furthermore, in reply to the claim for the contract extension bonus, the club has once again made it clear that the amount remains deposited with a notary until the case is resolved. “The player remains under contract at FC Barcelona but with temporary permission to not take part in training sessions.”
The 25-year-old contract has a release clause set at 222m euros, which PSG are understood to be ready to pay.
The latest development comes two days after it emerged Barca were ready to push for a Financial Fair Play investigation if PSG signed Neymar.
That came after La Liga president Javier Tebas threatened, in an interview with Mundo Deportivo,a legal response against the former Ligue 1 champions if European football’s governing body failed to take action.
He also said PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi had been made aware of the Spanish league’s intentions.
Neymar flew back to Spain from Dubai on Tuesday following Barcelona’s pre-season tour in the United States, after attending a series of promotional events in China earlier this week.
One of Neymar’s agents, Wagner Ribeiro, has now arrived in Paris, according to his Twitter account.
A spokesperson for La Liga president Javier Tolbas told Sky Sports News they would not accept payment for Neymar’s €222m (£198m) release clause over “doubts that this money is in accordance with UEFA Financial Fair Play rules”.
However, UEFA sources have since confirmed that Neymar’s release clause cannot be blocked by La Liga.
Neymar moved to Barcelona from Brazilian club Santos in 2013 for £48.6m, and signed a new five-year deal with the 24-time Spanish champions in 2016.
The Brazilian has scored 105 goals for Barcelona, helping them to two league titles, three Copas del Rey and a Champions League crown.